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A synopsis of the play by Philip Massinger

The following article is reprinted from A Dictionary of the Drama. W. Davenport Adams. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Company, 1904.

The Bashful Lover was a tragi-comedy by Philip Massinger, licensed on May 9, 1636, and acted at "the private house in Black-Fryars." It was extremely well received at its first appearance, and continued to be a favourite." It was printed in 1655. The bashful lover is Hortensio, who, though enamoured of Matilda, the daughter of Gonzaga, does not proclaim his passion. Lorenzo demands her hand in marriage, and Gonzaga refuses. There is a battle, and Mantua is captured, whilst Matilda, attempting to escape, is seized, but rescued by Hortensio. Both, however, are taken prisoners. Lorenzo (having restored her father to his dukedom) renews his suit, and Hortensio, very disinterestedly, advises Matilda to accept it. She replies by declaring her love for Hortensio. Lorenzo gives her up; and Gonzaga consents to her marryiage with her bashful lover, who, his brother having just died, is now Duke of Milan. The play, altered by Hull, was revived at Covent Garden in May, 1798, under the title of Disinterested Love, with Pope as Hortensio, Holman as Lorenzo, Murray as Gonzaga, and Mrs. Pope as Matilda.

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